STEM Learning in Citizen Science Projects and Programs

In citizen science (also known as Public Participation in Scientific Research, or PPSR) projects, non-scientists participate in the process of scientific research. They can develop new technologies for monitoring environmental quality, discover new galaxies, or analyze data to understand the impacts of climate change on birds in their neighborhood. This page provides a brief overview of resources about the intersection between citizen science and STEM learning that can be found on, as well as links to other relevant resources and communities.

Search the Repository

The repository is a collection of descriptions of funded awards from various federal agencies, research and reference materials (including grey literature such as conference presentations), and evaluation reports related to STEM learning outside the classroom. This can be a starting point for conducting literature reviews, strengthening grant proposals, learning about best practices, and making the case for your programs.

In order to filter your search to citizen science resources, use the Advanced Search option on the homepage, and under the Learning Environment field, select “Citizen Science Programs.” You may also use search filters to specify target audiences, scientific content, funding, and more.

Examples of Funded Projects

These are some abstracts of projects that have been funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA. To learn more about funding opportunities and deadlines, visit the Funding and Calendar pages.

Key Resources

The following papers explore the role of citizen science in the STEM learning ecosystem.


Evaluation is a set of approaches and techniques used to make judgments about the effectiveness or quality of a program or treatment; to improve its effectiveness; and to inform decisions about its design, development, and implementation (National Research Council 2010). It can be used to help make the case to funders about the effectiveness of specific programs or interventions. You can learn more using the Design Evaluation tab on, read the User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes for Citizen Science, or see evaluation in action by browsing the following evaluation reports from citizen science projects.

Professional Associations, Networks, & Platforms

See Also

Photo Credits: Nerds for Nature (CC BY-SA 2.0), Kevin Bacher (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Florida Sea Grant (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)